Misinformation about mental health is rampant and causes a lot of damage to people who should be seeking treatment. For teens, especially, mental health myths can be misleading and harmful. One way to break down the stigma surrounding mental health conditions is to ensure you’re informed. Knowing the facts about mental health can help you support the teens in your life. Learn more about the most pervasive mental health myths from the experts at Ascend.
Mental Health Myth #1: Children Don’t Face Mental Health Issues
Many people believe that children don’t have to deal with any mental health issues. Children and teens often face immense pressure from family, school, and peers that may lead to anxiety, depression, and trauma. Over 50% of all mental health disorders are discernable before the age of 14, meaning your child could be diagnosed well before puberty. If these children don’t receive the help they need, their conditions could devolve, making them more likely to turn to unhealthy coping mechanisms.
Mental Health Myth #2: Mental Health Issues Make You Violent
While some people who suffer from mental health conditions do have outbursts of violence and anger, people with mental health issues actually only commit 3-5% of violent crimes in the United States. They’re far more likely to be the victim than the perpetrator of violent crimes.
Most of the time, people who deal with their mental health condition through violence can recover a measure of normalcy through intensive therapy and medication.
Mental Health Myth #3: Mental Health Issues Are Rare
The truth about mental health concerns is that they’re widespread. As many as 25% of individuals will struggle with mental health concerns at some point in their lives. Whether these struggles require an intensive residential treatment program or simply a weekly session with a therapist varies.
Because so many people hide their mental health concerns from others, this number might be even higher. As we destigmatize mental health, more people will come forward with their issues to receive treatment.
Mental Health Myth #4: All You Need Is Willpower to Overcome Your Condition
Often, mental health isn’t a question of getting your mind in order. Usually, teens and adults who suffer from various conditions have to overcome trauma, injury, genetics, brain chemistry, and societal pressures to truly treat their condition. Therapy, medication, and other clinical techniques are more effective than suppressing emotions through willpower.
How Myths Hurt Teens
Teens who believe mental health myths might be reluctant to open up about the challenges they’re facing. They might be hesitant to share how they’re feeling due to fears of how others might react. They may also turn to drugs or alcohol to cope with the symptoms of mental health conditions. Having open and honest conversations with your teens about mental health can help them recognize the signs of mental health challenges when they come up.
Some of the mental health conditions your teen may face include:
- Depression – Characterized by feelings of hopelessness, loss of interest in activities, fatigue, and suicidal thoughts
- Anxiety – Can take the form of social anxiety, obsessive-compulsive disorder, or panic disorder
- Post-traumatic stress disorder – Triggered by traumatic events and can involve flashbacks, nightmares, and anxiety
- Substance use disorder – Compulsive use of drugs and alcohol despite negative consequences
Treatment at Ascend
Now that you know the facts about the mental health conditions your child may face, it’s time to take a closer look at their behavior. Are you concerned they might be suffering? Reach out to Ascend today at 310.388.3713 to learn more about our treatment programs.